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NHL • Monday Service Plays • 11/23/15

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    Preview: St. Louis at Buffalo

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: First Niagara Center, Buffalo, New York

    The young Buffalo Sabres are losing a bit of momentum after a very promising stretch and look to regain their footing with a three-game homestand that begins with Monday’s contest against the St. Louis Blues. Buffalo had won five of six games before going winless in the last four (0-2-2) while managing only four goals during that span.

    Leading scorer Ryan O’Reilly has three goals in four games, but many of the other key offensive weapons have gone cold for the Sabres during their slide. The Blues could use a boost as well after winning only two of their last six contests (2-3-1), including their seventh consecutive victory over Buffalo – 3-2 in a shootout on Thursday. Vladimir Tarasenko has recorded six goals in his last six games for St. Louis, including one against the Sabres and the tying tally late in regulation to help the Blues get a point in Saturday’s 4-3 overtime loss to Detroit. “He’s been great for us all year and in key moments when you need that,” St. Louis center Kyle Brodziak told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (St. Louis), Bell TV (Buffalo), MSG Buffalo

    ABOUT THE BLUES (13-6-2): Coach Ken Hitchcock told reporters after Saturday’s loss: “We had some guys that really played well and we had some guys who were a little off today.” St. Louis has been scored on 21 times in the last six games, although goaltender Jake Allen is 2-0-1 in his last three and owns solid numbers overall (2.04 goals against average, .930 save percentage). Tarasenko leads the team with 13 goals and 22 points while Alexander Steen boasts eight and 17, respectively, but has gone seven games without a tally.

    ABOUT THE SABRES (8-10-2): Rookie Jack Eichel registered only one point in his last five games, joining a group of unproductive forwards of late. “I have not been too happy with a lot of my performances so far this season,” Eichel, who has six goals, told the Buffalo News. “We’re 20 games into the year. I think I have more to give in all areas. I don’t think this is nearly where I should be.” Tyler Ennis does not have a goal in his last nine games while recording a minus-5 rating and Matt Moulson is scoreless in his past eight contests.


    1. Buffalo LW Evander Kane totaled nine shots on goal without posting a point in his first two games since returning from the injured list.

    2. St. Louis’ rookie D Colton Parayko continues to impress with 12 points and a team-best plus-10 rating.

    3. Sabres C Zemgus Girgensons (upper body) has missed three straight games and is questionable for Monday.

    PREDICTION: Blues 3, Sabres 1


    Preview: Nashville at NY Rangers

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

    The Nashville Predators have lost each of the first two contests on their five-game road trip 4-0 and it doesn’t figure to get any easier when they visit Henrik Lundqvist and the New York Rangers on Monday. New York has won 10 of its last 11 games and returns home following a 5-4 overtime victory over Florida on Saturday despite Lundqvist allowing a season high in goals, but that wasn’t what irked the 10-time All-Star, who continues to bail out his undisciplined teammates from time to time.

    “Nah I’m still annoyed,” Lundqvist told reporters, still stewing over New York’s 2-1 loss at Tampa Bay on Thursday on a shorthanded goal with 1:05 remaining. “… I think last game we found a way to lose a game, and we almost did it again (Saturday). So we need to learn from it, smarten up and we need to come back. …” Rick Nash, who led the Rangers with 42 goals in 2014-15, had two in his first 17 games this season before completing a hat trick in overtime Saturday. “For sure, definitely (it’s a weight off my shoulders),” Nash told reporters. “But it’s one game, so I’m not getting ahead of myself. It’s been a tough start for me. Three goals don’t make it all right.” Nashville had won three of its previous four games – scoring 18 goals and seven twice during that span – before its offense went dark in Columbus and Minnesota.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Tennessee (Nashville), MSG Plus (New York), SNET (Canada)

    ABOUT THE PREDATORS (11-5-3): James Neal (team-leading nine goals) is coming off a rough night Saturday in which he fought, answering for a knee-to-knee hit against Minnesota’s Zach Parise on Nov. 5 which caused the Wild star to miss the last seven games. Nashville’s next-highest goal scorer is defenseman Shea Weber (six) while defenseman Roman Josi shares the team lead in assists (nine) with defenseman Seth Jones and forwards Mike Ribeiro and Filip Forsberg. Pekka Rinne (10-4-3, 2.27 goals against average, .913 save percentage) is coming off consecutive losses for the first time this season, which also marked Nashville’s first back-to-back shutout losses since Nov. 8 and 10, 2013.

    ABOUT THE RANGERS (15-3-2): While Nash continues to find his scoring touch, Mats Zuccarello is carrying the offense with team bests of 10 goals and 21 points after recording a goal and two assists Saturday – the third time in five games he’s registered a goal and two assists. Derek Stepan (five goals, 11 assists), whose giveaway led to Thursday loss, redeemed himself with a strong game Saturday in which he provided an assist on Zuccarello’s tally and registered six shots on goal, prompting him to tell reporters: “Funny how the game works, isn’t it?” Rookie Oscar Lindberg, who recorded four of his seven goals in his first three games, hasn’t scored in seven contests and was demoted to the fourth line by coach Alain Vigneault.


    1. New York yields an NHL-least 1.85 goals per game and Lundqvist (11-3-2) leads the league with a .943 save percentage.

    2. Nashville on Sunday claimed D Petter Granberg off waivers from the Toronto Maple Leafs. Granberg, who has yet to play this season as he recovers from a torn Achilles’, helped Sweden win titles with two of his new teammates – F Calle Jarnkrok (2013 World Championship) and Forsberg (2012 World Juniors).

    3. The teams split two meetings last season with each winning at home.

    PREDICTION: Rangers 4, Predators 0


    Preview: Carolina at Philadelphia

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    The Carolina Hurricanes attempt to string together two straight victories for the first time this month as they visit the struggling Philadelphia Flyers on Monday. Defenseman. Justin Faulk scored a pair of power-play goals as the Hurricanes ended a five-game losing streak (0-3-2) with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday.

    “We need to be hungry for points and we found a way to get some points (Sunday) and scored some goals,” Carolina coach Bill Peters told the Raleigh News Observer. “I believe in our group and like the way we’re going.” The Hurricanes hope their effort sparks an offense that resides near the bottom of the league at two goals per game, a few spots ahead of the Flyers. Philadelphia is last in the NHL in scoring (1.7 per game) after being shut out in two straight, and has dropped five of the last six contests (1-3-2). Captain Claude Giroux told reporters: “If we want to get out of it we just have to stick together.”

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Carolina, CSN Philadelphia

    ABOUT THE HURRICANES (7-10-3): Faulk leads the team with 15 points and has at least one in five straight while compiling eight (four goals) in the past seven contests. While captain Eric Staal has been held without a point in the last three games, fellow forward Kris Versteeg posted three assists in his past two outings. Forward Nathan Gerbe left Sunday’s game in the first period with an apparent leg injury and his status is uncertain.

    ABOUT THE FLYERS (6-9-5): Giroux is the only player with double-digit points, recording six goals and seven assists to lead the team. None of the promising young players have raised their games for the Flyers and Jakub Voracek, who registered 22 goals and 81 points last season, has been limited to one tally and eight assists through the 20 games. Wayne Simmonds led the team with 28 goals in 2014-15 and has been held to three in the early going with a minus-11 rating.


    1. Philadelphia has allowed six power-play goals in its last six games, while its power play is last in the league at 13.3 percent.

    2. The Flyers’ only victory over the last six games was a 3-2 overtime triumph at Carolina on Nov. 14.

    3. Carolina D Brett Pesce registered his first career goal Sunday in his 13th career game.

    PREDICTION: Flyers 4, Hurricanes 2


    Preview: Edmonton at Washington

    When: 7:00 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia

    Leon Draisaitl attempts to continue an impressive offensive surge when his Edmonton Oilers visit the stingy Washington Capitals on Monday. The 20-year-old German, who was the third-overall pick in the 2014 draft, was recalled late in October and has put up seven goals and 10 assists overall while recording 10 points (four goals) during his current five-game streak.

    “He’s always had the skill and he’s actually always had the speed,” Edmonton left wing Taylor Hall told the Edmonton Sun of Draisaitl. “Now he just has so much trust and belief in his game, and why wouldn’t he?” The Capitals, who were sixth in goals against and second in shots against per game in the league through Saturday, must also contain Draisaitl’s new linemate Hall (nine goals, 24 points). Washington has handled most challenges this season and stands 3-1-1 in its last five contests after a 7-3 victory over Colorado on Saturday. Captain Alexander Ovechkin has scored in back-to-back games for the Capitals, who won 7-4 at Edmonton on Oct. 23.

    TV: 7 p.m. ET, SNET West (Edmonton), CSN DC (Washington)

    ABOUT THE OILERS (7-12-1): Hall posted eight points (three goals) during his five-game point streak, but is more impressed with his plus-6 rating in that span. “I’ve always produced, but I feel like my defensive game is better,” Hall told the Edmonton Sun. “I’m out there in the last minute of games. I don’t feel like I’m spending as much time in my own end, and hockey’s more fun like that.” The Oilers must improve on the penalty kill as they embark on a five-game road trip after giving up six power-play goals in the past seven contests.

    ABOUT THE CAPITALS (13-5-1): Four defensemen scored a goal each and the other two blue liners notched assists in the victory over Colorado. “Sometimes, not even touching the puck, if you’re in the rush, you’re doing something. …” Defenseman John Carlson told the Washington Post. “We’ve harped on it, we’ve wanted to do it, and we’ve got the skill and speed to get up the ice all of the time.” Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the team with 21 points, including three goals and two assists in the victory over Edmonton earlier this season.


    1. Washington G Braden Holtby has won three straight decisions and allowed 10 goals during a 5-1-0 run.

    2. Edmonton RW Teddy Purcell has posted a goal and four assists to go along with a plus-5 rating in the last three contests.

    3. Capitals D Brooks Orpik (lower-body injury) has missed five consecutive games and is questionable for Monday.

    PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Oilers 3


    Preview: Boston at Toronto

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario

    The Boston Bruins are putting a stronger emphasis on defense and look to again put the clamps on the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre on Monday in the second contest of a home-and-home Atlantic Division series. Boston has won three of its last four games following a 2-0 victory over Toronto on Saturday.

    “That’s something we can certainly build on, understanding that if we’re stingy, we’re going to get that much better of a chance to win,” Bruins coach Claude Julien told reporters. Seven points separate second-place Ottawa and last-place Toronto in what is shaping up to be a competitive Atlantic in which points will be at a premium. “It’s early in the season and everybody wants to win and we need to stay focused and it’s pretty much right away when you win a game, you’ve got to focus on the next one,” Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara told reporters after scoring with 3:43 left to break a scoreless tie Saturday. “Little things make a difference in a game.” Since losing 12 of its first 14 games (2-8-4), Toronto has won five of its last seven contests as it begins a three-game homestand.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, NESN (Boston), TVAS, TSN4 (Toronto)

    ABOUT THE BRUINS (10-8-1): Patrice Bergeron (seven goals, 19 points) is riding a seven-game point streak and has three goals and five assists during that span. The center is also the top producer on the NHL’s best power-play unit (33.9 percent) with five goals and seven assists. Boston goaltender Tuukka Rask (6-7-1, 2.95 goals against average, .896 save percentage) is expected to get the call after recording his second shutout of the season Saturday as he tries to allow fewer than three goals in back-to-back games for only the second time this season.

    ABOUT THE MAPLE LEAFS (7-10-4): Toronto is near the bottom of the NHL in scoring at 2.19 goals per game, although it has picked up the pace a bit of late with 13 in its last five contests. The Maple Leafs need more production from Nazem Kadri, who has only two goals (eight points) despite entering Sunday fourth in the league with 84 shots on goal, but coach Mike Babcock loves the play of his center. “This is my two cents on Naz: He’s been, in my opinion, the best forward on our team,” Babcock told FOX Sports. “He competes every night, he’s in on all the chances, he generates a ton. He’s a way better player than I expected.”


    1. Bruins RW Loui Eriksson (team-high nine goals, 18 points) and LW Brad Marchand (eight goals, 14 points) each have four-game point streaks.

    2. LW James van Riemsdyk and RW Joffrey Lupul lead Toronto with seven goals apiece.

    3. Boston has the worst penalty-killing unit in the NHL at 72.5 percent.

    PREDICTION: Maple Leafs 3, Bruins 2


    Preview: Los Angeles at Florida

    When: 7:30 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

    The Los Angeles Kings look to find their best form after two uncharacteristic performances when they visit the Florida Panthers on Monday. The Kings, one of the league’s best defensive teams, allowed seven goals combined in a pair of one-goal losses at Detroit and Carolina in their last two contests after winning 12 of their previous 15.

    Anze Kopitar notched his first two-point game of the season with a pair of goals, but Los Angeles offered up six power plays and Carolina took advantage of two for a 4-3 victory Sunday. The Kings will have to stay out of the penalty box Monday against the Panthers, who are tied for fourth in the league at 22.2 percent. The Panthers have won only three of their last 11 games (3-5-3) after a 5-4 overtime defeat against the New York Rangers on Saturday. Veteran Jaromir Jagr leads Florida with 16 points and has 730 career goals, one shy of former King Marcel Dionne for fourth on the NHL’s all-time list.

    TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FSN West (Los Angeles), FSN Florida

    ABOUT THE KINGS (12-8-0): Jeff Carter (19 points) and Tyler Toffoli (18) lead the team in points, but were shut Sunday despite totaling five shots. The Kings have had to kill off at least five power plays in the last three games and surrendered four goals while at least a man down. Drew Doughty is tied with Carter for the team lead with 10 assists while fellow defenseman Christian Ehrhoff returned to the lineup Sunday after being a healthy scratch in two straight.

    ABOUT THE PANTHERS (8-8-4): Florida’s offense has been inconsistent, but the return of center Aleksander Barkov should help settle things down. The 20-year-old former second-overall pick has produced nine points (five goals) in 10 games this season and makes things happen with Jagr and Jonathan Huberdeau on his wings. Offseason acquisition Reilly Smith has raised his game with four points in the last four games while forward Vincent Trocheck has gone three games without a point.


    1. Los Angeles G Jonathan Quick has allowed at least three goals in six of his last eight games, including Sunday when he was pulled after two periods.

    2. Florida LW Jussi Jokinen has registered six points (two goals) in his last six contests.

    3. The Kings have won four of the last five meetings, including a 4-1 triumph on Nov. 7 at home.

    PREDICTION: Panthers 3, Kings 2


    Preview: Colorado at Winnipeg

    When: 8:00 PM ET, Monday, November 23, 2015

    Where: MTS Centre, Winnipeg, Manitoba

    The Winnipeg Jets play four times in six days this week, starting with Monday’s homestand-ending contest with the Colorado Avalanche, and goaltender Michael Hutchinson will get plenty of chances to work his way out of a recent slump. Hutchinson has won just once since starting the season 4-0-0, but with Ondrej Pavelec injured in Saturday’s 3-2 victory over Arizona, the 25-year-old Hutchinson figures to get the majority of playing time.

    The Jets need Hutchinson to improve on his recent efforts – 12 goals allowed in his past four starts – after Pavelec was run over by Arizona’s Shane Doan and left the arena on crutches, causing the recall of highly-touted goaltender Connor Hellebuyck from Manitoba of the American Hockey League Sunday. “I think he can help us win games,” Jets coach Paul Maurice told reporters of Hellebuyck after Sunday’s practice. The Avalanche won the first three games of a seven-game road swing that ends Monday, but have lost their past three games by a combined 16-7 — falling 7-3 Saturday at Washington. Goaltending also will be a focus for Colorado as head coach Patrick Roy told reporters after Saturday’s game he plans to start Semyon Varlamov, who has missed the past seven games with a groin injury.

    TV: 8 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), TSN3 (Winnipeg)

    ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (7-12-1): Center Matt Duchene’s second-period assist Saturday continued his strong November, during which he has points in six straight games to give him 16 (nine goals, seven assists) this month. Reto Berra gave up four first-period goals Saturday before being relieved by Calvin Pickard, who surrendered three goals. Pickard was optioned to San Antonio of the AHL Sunday as Varlamov came off injured reserve for Colorado, which lost for the fifth time in eight games and is tied for last in the NHL with 15 points.

    ABOUT THE JETS (10-9-2): Winnipeg has won two in a row after a disastrous six-game winless streak dropped them from the cusp of first place in the Central Division to sixth — seven points ahead of last-place Colorado. The Jets’ power play is struggling mightily, going 0-for-5 Saturday and scoring on just two of their past 36 opportunities in 10 November games. Hutchinson stopped all seven shots he faced in the third period after coming on for Pavelec.


    1. Varlamov is 3-6-1 this season with a .890 save percentage and is 31-26-9 since going 41-14-6 for Colorado in 2013-14.

    2. The 22-year-old Hellebuyck went 2-7-1 in 10 games with Manitoba, recording a 2.41 goals against average and a .927 save percentage.

    3. Duchene is one shy of tying Claude Lemieux’s club record for most goals in November (10, 1995).

    PREDICTION: Jets 4, Avalanche 3



    Hot teams
    — Washington won five of tis last eight games.
    — Rangers won nine of their last ten games.
    — Bruins won three of their last four games. Toronto won five of its last seven.
    — Kings won three of their last four games.
    — Winnipeg won last two games 3-2/4-1, after losing previous six.

    Cold teams
    — Buffalo lost last four games, outscored 11-4. Blues lost four of their last six games.
    — Flyers lost eight of their last ten games. Carolina lost five of last six games.
    — Edmonton lost five of its last seven games.
    — Nashville lost four of last five road games, got blanked last two games.
    — Florida lost seven of its last ten games.
    — Avalanche lost last three games, allowing 16 goals.

    Series records
    — Hurricanes won eight of last ten games with Philly.
    — Washington is 5-3 in its last eight games with Edmonton.
    — Rangers won four of last six games with Nashville.
    — Blues won their last seven games with Buffalo.
    — Bruins won six of last ten games with Toronto.
    — Panthers lost eight of last ten games with Los Angeles.
    — Home side won last six Colorado-Winnipeg games; seven of last nine went OT/SO.

    — Under is 4-0-1 in last five Carolina-Philly games.
    — Eight of last ten Edmonton games went over total.
    — Under is 5-0-2 in last seven Ranger-Nashville games.
    — Under is 3-0-1 in last four Buffalo games.
    — Six of last nine Toronto games stayed under total.
    — Under is 5-1-2 in last eight Florida-LA games.
    — Last four Colorado games went over the total.


    Grand Salami – November
    By VI News

    The Grand Salami in pro hockey is decided by adding up all the goals scored in every game scheduled for that particular day. You can wager on ‘over’ or ‘under’ the Grand Salami total. The total is set by adding up all listed ‘over/under’ odds for each game on that particular day.

    Note: The Grand Salami will have no action if any game is suspended or cancelled before the regulation time of three twenty minute periods. Also, regardless of the number of goals scored during the shoot out portion of the overtime, the final scored recorded for the game will give the winning team on more goal than its opponent based on the score at the end of regulation time.

    *The majority of sportsbooks do not put out a total on the Grand Salami when there is only one game on the card. For tracking purposes, we will continue to show the ‘over/under’ for goals and combined goals scored on days with just one game.



    Date No. of Games Total Goals Combined Goals Scored Result

    11/1 5 26.5 29 OVER
    11/2 3 15.5 16 OVER
    11/3 9 48.5 49 OVER
    11/4 4 21.5 27 OVER
    11/5 9 49.5 46 UNDER
    11/6 6 31.5 26 UNDER
    11/7 11 58 47 UNDER
    11/8 4 21.5 21 UNDER
    11/9 1 5 7 OVER
    11/10 12 64.5 66 OVER
    11/11 2 12.5 14 OVER
    11/12 12 65.5 65 UNDER
    11/13 4 21.5 18 UNDER
    11/14 13 67.5 73 OVER
    11/15 2 10.5 12 OVER
    11/16 6 31.5 32 OVER
    11/17 8 43.5 45 OVER
    11/18 3 16.5 15 UNDER
    11/19 9 49.5 39 UNDER
    11/20 6 31.5 29 UNDER
    11/21 11 57.5 62 OVER
    11/22 4 20.5 26 OVER
    11/23 7 –


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play Against – Any team against the money line (EDMONTON) after scoring 3 goals or more in 2 straight games against opponent after scoring 6 goals or more in their previous game
    97-46 over the last 5 seasons. ( 67.8% | 54.1 units )
    5-2 this year. ( 71.4% | 2.9 units )


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play On – Home Teams when the money line is -100 to -150 (PHILADELPHIA) after having lost 4 of their last 5 games, a terrible team (<=30%) playing a team with a losing record in the first half of the season 59-18 since 1997. ( 76.6% | 36.8 units ) 4-0 this year. ( 100.0% | 4.0 units )


    StatFox Super Situations™ – FoxSheets

    Play On – Road Favorites of -200 or less against the money line (BOSTON) off a home win where they shut out their opponent, with a winning record on the season playing a losing team in the first half of the season
    45-10 since 1997. ( 81.8% | 31.1 units )
    4-1 this year. ( 80.0% | 2.9 units )



    Hockey Crusher
    St Louis Blues + Buffalo Sabres – OVER 5

    (System Record: 19-0, lost last game)
    Overall Record: 19-20-7

    Edmonton Oilers + Washington Capitals – UNDER 5.5

    Boston Bruins + Toronto Maple Leafs – UNDER 5.5

    Colorado Avalanche + Winnipeg Jets – OVER 5.5



    30 Units – NHL Monday Game of the Year!!!
    Los Angeles Kings ML-115



    Steam Rot#: 57 Team: Buffalo +222

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